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‘Will implement NRC in Bengal,’ says Amit Shah

If the Modi government is voted back to power, says BJP president Amit Shah

March 30, 2019 12:05 am | Updated 08:59 am IST - Alipurduar

BJP president Amit Shah with party candidate for Alipurduar seat John Barla (third from right) on Friday.

BJP president Amit Shah with party candidate for Alipurduar seat John Barla (third from right) on Friday.

Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Friday began his election campaign in West Bengal with a promise to introduce the National Register of Citizens in the State if the Narendra Modi government was voted back to power.

Addressing a rally at Alipurduar in north Bengal, Mr. Shah said the BJP was committed to protecting the interests of “Hindu refugees” through the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

‘Oust infiltrators’

“Mamata ji thinks that infiltrators will see her through in the polls. The inevitable is bound to happen. The Modi government will be elected again and we will bring NRC and oust each and every infiltrator from the State,” he said.

In the same breath, the BJP president also assured all “refugees” that they will have the right to stay in the country with respect.

“I want to assure all the refugees that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is our commitment and Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh refugees will not be required to leave the country. They can remain in the country with respect,” he said.

While several BJP leaders, including State party president Dilip Ghosh and State observer Kailash Vijayvargiya, had raised the pitch for NRC in Bengal in 2018, the party had been maintaining silence on the issue during the election rallies in the State this year.

Fierce debate likely

The claims of introducing the NRC in the State, which has a 27.1% Muslim population as per the 2011 Census, is likely to trigger a fierce political debate ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.

During his half-hour speech, Mr. Shah alleged that the Trinamool Congress government was trying to impose Urdu language on the Bengali-speaking people and increased the budget to the madrasas in the State. He alleged that the BJP workers were shot dead by the police for demanding recruitment of Bengali teachers instead of Urdu teachers at a school in Islampur.

While campaigning for Alipurduar constituency candidate John Barla, who draws his support base from tea gardens, the BJP president was silent on issues concerning the region’s sick and closed tea gardens. Mr. Shah, however, tried to reach out to the Gorkha community by accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of committing “atrocities against Gorkhas”. “I want to assure Gorkha brothers and sisters that BJP is fully with you...,” he said.

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